Our kids spend at least 6 hours a day in school…that’s 180 days per year! And now that summer vacation is almost over, creating a clean, healthy and chemical-free school is as important as creating a clean, green environment at home. Here’s what school authorities, parents, and students can do to create a green atmosphere that is conducive to learning:
1. Organise an eco-committee that includes teachers, parents and students to direct the school’s green efforts.
2. To ensure that your green efforts are long lasting, incorporate them into the school’s core operations and curriculum.
3. Conduct a facility-wide waste audit and create a waste management plan as well as a recycling program that gets faculty and students involved.
4. Minimise packaging waste especially for any items that are purchased in large quantities.
5. Have school staff use e-mail to send messages instead of written memos which waste a lot of paper. If you must print, make sure to print on both sides of the paper whenever possible.
6. Use an intranet site to post meeting minutes and any other materials or send them via e-mail after each meeting.
7. Encourage parents to use reusable containers for kids’ school lunches and reduce waste.
8. Create an area in the school where rain water can be harvested.
9. Create a compost system so biodegradable waste can be used as fertiliser for plants and trees on school property.
10. Choose trees, bushes and other plants that require minimal watering.
11. Check building systems like boilers, air conditioners, and central heating, regularly to make sure they are running efficiently.
12. Switch all standard incandescent bulbs for energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs.
13. Look into installing solar hot water and photo-voltaic systems to generate a part of the school’s energy. This is also a great way to teach students about renewable energy.
14. Donate old equipment, books and furniture to charity.
15. Create a schedule to check for water leakages regularly. Small leaks waste enormous amounts of water.
Creating a green school program does not only contribute to a healthy environment but also serves as a great way to educate students on the importance of eco friendly practices and protecting the environment.